Talk:Pass interference

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A section on the evolution of the pass interference rule would be informative. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:07, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

This rule is the most confusing one in football to me, because it seems completely subjective as to what is and is not valid interference. Even commentators disagree about when interference has occurred. I am particularly confused by this sentence from the article:

In college and pros the defender may make contact with receiver within the first five yards.

The first five yards of what? Could someone please clarify? Sdpurdy (talk) 17:02, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Line of Scrimmage, I believe —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ultimate Somnia (talkcontribs) 03:59, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, do you think we should add famous cases of pass interference, such as in the 2002 Orange Bowl with pass interference calls that had a great effect on the game? Ultimate Somnia (talk) 04:50, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Picture is not a good exampleEdit

Was there actually a penalty on the picture in the article (Pass-Interference-Chargers-vs-Chiefs-Nov-9-08.jpg)? That doesn't look like pass interference to me, both players are playing the ball. Even if a penalty was called, this is not a good example. A better picture would show the defender clearly interfering with the receiver without contacting the ball. Rsduhamel (talk) 08:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

The photographer stated it was pass interference in the picture description page, so I took his word. I agree that it doesn't clearly look like interference though — I realized that when I was uploading the picture, but I couldn't find a better one with a free use license. I searched Flickr for "pass interference" and got these results. Are there any among those that are good? I could request the photographer(s) to change their licenses to by or by-sa if there are. I also just looked through the U.S. government websites for public domain images and found this one — the caption for the picture states "Notre Dame defensive back Terrail Lambert prevents Air Force receiver Mark Root from catching a pass from quarterback Shaun Carney. Lambert was penalized for pass interference on the play. Eighth-ranked Notre Dame won, 39-17" [1] Let me know of the picture you think would be most appropriate for the article. BlueAg09 (Talk) 10:33, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Good find. I think the AF-ND picture is a much better example. The defender has his arm across the chest and his hand on the arm of the receiver. He is also looking at the receiver, not the ball. Actually, the Chargers vs. Chiefs picture could be an example of what is not pass interference (at least it shouldn't be). I can't find the page the AF-ND picture came from. Can you confirm that it is an Air Force picture and not owned by someone else? Rsduhamel (talk) 04:50, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it indeed was created by the Air Force - click on the second picture on the second row here for proof. The caption of the picture verifies that it's an Air Force publication ("U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. John Ross") so we can definitely use the photo on the article. I have just added a cropped version of the picture with the background blurred out to the article. I removed the other picture as there was not enough space for it; we can perhaps add it back later when the article is expanded. Speaking of the other picture, I pulled up the NFL recap of the game in which the penalty call occurred - there is a paragraph in which the call is described as "questionable" - this just substantiates your point :) Thanks for bringing it up here. BlueAg09 (Talk) 16:36, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Directly from NFL and NCAA rule booksEdit

Directly from the NFL Rule Book:

Rule 8-5-1:

It is pass interference by either team when any act by a player more than one yard beyond the line of scrimmage significantly hinders the progress of an eligible receiver's opportunity to catch the ball. Pass interference can only occur when a forward pass is thrown from behind the line of scrimmage, regardless of whether the pass is legal or illegal, or whether it crosses the line.

Defensive pass interference rules apply from the time then ball is thrown until the ball is touched...

Offensive pass interference rules apply from the time the ball is snapped until the ball is touched...

Directly from NCAA Rule Book:

Rule 7-3-8:

a. During a down in which a legal forward pass crosses the neutral zone, illegal contact by Team A and Team B players is prohibited from the time the ball is snapped until it is touched by any player or an official.

b. Offensive pass interference by a Team A player beyond the neutral zone during a legal forward pass play in which a forward pass crosses the neutral zone is contact that interferes with a Team B eligible player. It is the responsibility of the offensive player to avoid the opponents. It is not offensive pass interference...:

1. When, after the snap, a Team A ineligible player immediately charges and contacts an opponent at a point not more than one yard beyond the neutral zone and does not continue the contact more than three yards beyond the neutral zone.
2. When two or more eligible players are making a simultaneous and bona fide attempt to reach, catch or bat the pass. Eligible players of either team have equal rights to the ball...
3. When the pass is in flight and two or more eligible players are in the area where they might receive or intercept the pass and an offensive player in that area impedes an opponent, and the pass is not catchable.

c. Defensive pass interference is contact beyond the neutral zone by a Team B player whose intent to impede an eligible opponent is obvious and it could prevent the opponent the opportunity of receiving a catchable forward pass. When in question, a legal forward pass is catchable. Defensive pass interference occurs only after a legal forward pass is thrown.It is not defensive pass interference...:

1. When, after the snap, opposing players immediately charge and establish contact with opponents at a point that is within one yard beyond the neutral zone.
2. When two or more eligible players are making a simultaneous and bona fide attempt to reach, catch or bat the pass. Eligible players of either team have equal rights to the ball...
3. When a Team B player legally contacts an opponent before the pass is thrown....
4. When a Team A potential kicker, from scrimmage kick formation, simulates a scrimmage kick by throwing the ball high and deep, and contact by a Team B player occurs.

I'm not sure if that'll make it easier to expand or make the article clearer in regards to what is and isn't interference. As far as the NFL rules go, I only put the important information as it goes into quite a few examples of what is and isn't interference. If anyone wants the rest of that, I'd be glad to show the rest of it.

AllPurposeGamer (talk) 15:32, 1 January 2010 (UTC)


Is there any way to make this more clear to more people? After reading this, I have no idea what offensive pass interference is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I would also like to see some content on the motivation behind pass interference rules. Safety? Entertainment (arguably, more passes will complete with this rule)? (talk) 00:17, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

I agree that this is not clear. Today I saw several offensive pass interference calls against players who did not then catch the ball. The ball wasn't even thrown to the players who were called for offensive pass interference. This is confusing. I don't know the answer or I would edit the article. (talk) 22:18, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Assumes defensive pass interferenceEdit

The text of the article considers only defensive pass interference. Either offensive interference should be covered or the article should be retitled. (talk) 18:35, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Return to "Pass interference" page.